Healthcare Association’s auxiliary of the year award

St. Mary’s Auxiliary President Linda Estep, left, accepts the Auxiliary of the Year Award from Sue Ellen Wagner, HANYS (Photo submitted)

AMSTERDAM — St. Mary’s Healthcare Auxiliary in Amsterdam is the winner in the small healthcare facility classification of the Auxiliary of the Year Awards.

The awards are presented to auxiliaries in New York State that have demonstrated outstanding achievement in community outreach and advocacy.

St. Mary’s Healthcare Auxiliary provides service and support for St. Mary’s Healthcare and the community through health awareness, advocacy, and fundraising.

The Auxiliary is a dynamic group of more than 300 members who make numerous contributions to their community. Auxilians recently provided financial and direct support to the hospital’s Complementary Therapy department, co-sponsoring its annual conference and becoming Healing Touch volunteers. They also pledged $250,000 in support of St. Mary’s Rao Outpatient Pavilion, helping to fund the Cancer Medicine Center and related women’s health services.

Auxilians create gift/food baskets for local migrant workers who are financially in need, and they raised funds to repair and expand a community walking/running track at the Memorial Campus of St. Mary’s Healthcare. The Auxiliary collaborates with a variety of community organizations to respond to community needs.

Current projects include actively promoting the Sheriff’s Yellow Dot Program, which encourages people to place basic medical information in a particular place in their car and/or home along with the yellow dot; working to encourage drivers in the community to take and keep the “No Texting Pledge,” promoting flu shot clinics throughout the fall and winter, and volunteering at the hospital’s frequent blood drives.

A new initiative that St. Mary’s Healthcare Auxiliary joined is the Mission Cupboard.  Some patients discharged from the hospital leave without adequate access to critical supplies such as food or personal hygiene products. The Mission Cupboard is stocked with food, hygiene items, seasonal items such as hats and gloves, and other necessities. Patients in need are offered these donated items as well as information about local service agencies.

Colleen Hardies Medwid, Director of Volunteers at St. Mary’s, oversees the work of the Auxiliary.

“It is a real pleasure to work with people who devote their personal time to serving our patients and our community”, Medwid said.  “I am so pleased that the accomplishments of our Auxilians, work that most often happens out of the limelight, has been highlighted with the presentation of this Award.

“Although volunteers don’t do what they do for recognition, this award has confirmed that our volunteers and Auxilians are effective in their role as health care advocates and community ambassadors. We can all feel good about that distinction,” she said.

By Chad Fleck

Leave a Reply